Here is an excerpt from the Introduction to my 2016 anthology, Christianity in the Light of Science, pp. 20-23. If you don't have it this is one of the best books I've ever published:

In this volume is found the evidence, the scientific evidence, the objective evidence that can convince open-minded people. Open-minded people will be open to the scientific evidence. Closed-minded people won’t be open to it, but will instead try to denigrate or deny it. To help believers be open-minded to scientific evidence I have argued quite extensively for the Outsider Test for Faith.5 Professor Jerry Coyne, a scientist specializing in evolutionary genetics at the University of Chicago, says “the wisdom of this . . . quasiscientific approach” is “unquestionable.”6 It asks believers to rationally test one’s culturally adopted religious faith from the perspective of an outsider, a nonbeliever, with the same level of reasonable skepticism believers already use when examining the other religious faiths they reject.

The reason believers are not open-minded to science, in those areas where science conflicts with their faith, is because of confirmation bias. This bias is a strong tendency human beings have to search for data, or to interpret existing data, in ways that confirm their preconceptions. Michael Shermer calls it “the mother of all cognitive biases.”7 The outsider perspective nullifies this bias precisely because it’s an outsider’s perspective. It has nothing to confirm. When there is nothing to confirm, then confirmation bias doesn’t get in the way of finding the truth. The outsider perspective is therefore the best and only way to objectively test religious faith. This perspective uniquely helps believers rid themselves of confirmation bias so they can honestly apply the same standards used in investigating other religious faiths across the boards. It gives them permission to accept the results of science rather than deny them. For that’s what they do whenever there’s a conflict between science and the other religious faiths they reject. They accept science, since that’s the only intellectually honest thing to do.

Some scientists are denying there is any conflict between science and religion, following Stephen Jay Gould, who argued that science and religion are two different areas of inquiry and the two don’t overlap. First there is the “magisterium” of science, which “tries to document the factual character of the natural world, and to develop theories that coordinate and explain these facts.” Then there is the “magisterium” of religion, which “operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings, and values.”8 This non-overlapping magisteria of science and religion is known as the NOMA principle. 

Certainly a lot can be written by way of criticizing NOMA. For our purposes, let this book be a test case with regards to it. Since science shows the world’s largest religion is not factually based, and therefore false (What else are we to conclude?), then it isn’t reasonable to believe human purposes, meanings, and values are to be derived from that supernatural source either (via divination, prophecy, revelation, inspiration, or illumination). They cannot be derived supernaturally when the religion itself is shown to be false. So any human purposes, meanings, and values were already there prior to its beginning, or subsequently learned by trial and error apart from it. In fact, we can even critically examine and subsequently reject this because of the suffering it has caused down through the centuries (barring sufficient evidence on its behalf). This is something which my anthology, Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails (2014) does. Given that NOMA doesn’t save the world’s largest religion, the only thing left for believers is to reject the science. 

How can they deny science, you ask? Sean B. Carroll, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, tells us. An article he read in the journal Pediatrics, titled “Chiropractors and Vaccination: A Historical Perspective” sparked his thoughts.9 The article traced the roots of anti-vaccination among chiropractors to its founder, Daniel David Palmer, in 1865, and highlighted this same attitude among practitioners in the last few decades. In the 1950s, for instance, many chiropractors denied the science of polio vaccinations, but they were proven wrong when polio was eradicated in the United States because of vaccines. The article went on to offer the six arguments chiropractors have used to deny the science of vaccinations for a century. 

After reading it, Carroll saw a general pattern among science deniers. Carroll said, “I could superimpose those arguments entirely upon what I had been reading from the antievolution forces.” The six chiropractic anti-vaccination arguments can be seen as “a general manual of science denialism,” he said. He saw that “to deny a piece of science there was sort of common playbook, a common set of tactics.” In fact, “You could throw any argument at me about evolution, climate change, etc., and it would be in one of these six bins.” Here they are: 

1. Use anything to cast some small measure of doubt on the science, no matter how small, disregarding that the probabilities are very high that the science is correct.

2. Question the motives of scientists, saying they are motivated by profit or some other underhanded reason.

3. Magnify any disagreements between scientists by citing gadflies as authorities who represent a tiny minority.

4. Scare the hell out of people by exaggerating the potential harms or risks in accepting the science.

5. Appeal to the value of personal freedom by claiming no one should be compelled to accept the science.

6. Object that the science repudiates some key point of philosophy or theology, which Carroll says is one of the most important tactics of science denialists. On this he quotes creationist Henry Morris, who said, “When science and the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data.”10

These are the arguments and tactics of close-minded people who seek to denigrate or deny science. None of these tactics actually do anything of the sort. They are all efforts in argument substitution, where someone substitutes an argument when the evidence shows otherwise. But they aren’t really even legitimate arguments. They are informal fallacies, where rhetoric itself substitutes as argumentation. They’re rhetorical bluffs, or rhetoric without substance. For instance, in denying what I call the evolutionary paradigm (or theory, or fact), many believers object that if evolution is true there can be no morals. Whether that’s the case or not is being debated, of course, but the issue of morality has nothing to do with the objective overwhelming evidence for evolution. Either the evidence is there or it’s not, and it is. So don’t accept the tactics of science deniers if you want to know the truth. Follow the evidence instead. 

Yes, follow the evidence, but also follow the money. If you want to know why so many perceived authorities still question the results of science, then follow the money, just like you should follow the evidence. For instance, the John Templeton Foundation aims to denigrate and deny science in the interests of religion by offering academics millions of dollars to find reasons to believe. So anything financially supported by the Templeton Prize should be subjected to intense scrutiny. Lately, the Templeton Foundation has even funded climate change denialists.11 This, too, has to do with religion, for if there is a god in control of the world and the environment, climate change is nothing to worry about. But then, there shouldn’t have been anything to worry about with polio either. In any case, if you reject the Templeton Foundation’s antiscience view of climate change, you should clearly see its antiscience view with regard to religion in general.